Have you been lettering for awhile and you’re ready to explore some new techniques? One of my favorite techniques is what has come to be known as bounce (or bouncy) lettering.
I’ll be honest with you guys, I had NO IDEA this style even had a name until I got more into the online lettering community. Then I found all these names for different techniques. A lot of them I feel are kind of unnecessary, but the bounce lettering is pretty accurate.
Bounce lettering refers to lettering that doesn’t follow the baseline. What I mean is, it conveniently bounces around. And this is the quickest and the easiest way to add a little more flavor to your basic script and start developing your own style.
Today I just want to talk about some easy tips for starting to bounce letters.
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Bounce Lettering Tips
Bounce lettering gives you a lot of freedom to be creative, but sometimes those creative endeavors don’t look so great once you start getting them into practice or it’s just hard to figure out which letters to bounce. So let’s talk about some tips to quickly improve your bounce lettering.
Drop letters that have a hill curve and a u curve. I’m probably saying this weird, but what I mean is letters like “n” and “m” and “a” and “d”. All of these letters have a little bit of a tail at the end, and to quickly add a little flair, you can drop all of these lower than the baseline. The way I like to do it is to have the main point of the letter sit on the baseline and drop the tail lower than the baseline. It gives the letter a little uniformity but also makes it quirky and interesting. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:
End the first and the last letter on the same line. One thing I don’t like about bounce lettering is that sometimes it just looks a mess. It looks too sloppy and not at all purposeful. There’s actually a really easy way to avoid this, though. Just make sure that your first letter and your last letter as close to the same spot as possible. If you’re not using guides, the best way to go about making your letters look uniform is to go lower than you think you need to because, if you’re right handed, you will usually start to go up as your letters continue.
Have a little uniformity. Look, I understand that bouncy lettering is kind of free form, I get that, but it won’t hurt you to have a little uniformity. What I mean by uniformity is just writing letters the same way. Don’t have two different “r”s or two different “n”s. Try your best to keep the letters the same. Especially if some drop down. Even if you’re varying the baseline, you can still have the tail of your “n” always drop lower. I’m going to include some examples here of what I mean:
Those are my main tips for bouncy lettering. Like I said, this style has very few rules so it’s hard for me to give you anything hard and fast about how best to make these characters. These are just some of the things I’ve been doing with my lettering to make it look better over all.
Annd now! For a practice page. Right? Stop talking, gimme the goods! This practice page features my own basic bounce lettering technique. In a very “random” style.
Click the picture to go to the download and if you like these tips and my practice page, share it with your friends because sharing makes me smile 🙂